The river Mahanadi has a religious significance as there are lots of temples nestled either on its bank or are situated in the nearby area. The maximum number of its devotees is from Cuttack. Pilgrims from other parts of India too visit the various temples on the banks of this river. Some of the religious spots are as follows-
Laxman Temple nestled at Sirpur along the bank of Mahanadi River contributes to the religious significance of the river. Sirpur is an interesting site, at a one-hour distance from east of Raipur. Sited on the banks of the holy Mahanadi River, and known as 'Shripur' in primitive times, it was the capital of South Kosala. The Laxman Temple here is believed to have been built in the 7th century and is one of the finest brick temples in India. The temple is still in good condition. It is characterized by beautiful carvings and precise construction.
Gandheswar Temple is another must see spot situated on the bank of the Mahanadi River. This artistic temple mesmerizes the tourists with an amazing collection of rare statues like statue of Buddha touching the earth, Natraj, Garud Narayan and Mahishasur Mardini.
Leaning Temple of Huma
The Leaning Temple of Huma situated on the bank of the Mahanadi in Odisha is also a well known religious spot. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, it is the only leaning temple in the world. It is nestled on the rocky cradle just on the bank of the river. Its leaning design attracts tourists from various parts of the country.
Rajim is another religious spot located close to Raipur, on the bank of the Mahanadi River. There are fine groups of temples, of which the main one is Rajivalochana Temple, which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
Other temples like Vatayan, Chitya Gawaksha, Bharwahakgana, Aja, Kirtimukh and Karna Amalak are situated close to Mahanadi River. Archaeological Survey of India has founded a museum in the temple premise, which houses a collection of rare statues and other relics significant to the Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist and Jain faiths.